We’re here in Puebla, Mexico and have been since March 3. It’s been great to be reunited together with our friends here at Iglesia Dios Es Amor. Our relationships are deepening and we’re really enjoying spending time together.
Sunday, we completed the “Serving Christ by Serving His Church” conference for lay-leaders. Throughout the 3-day conference about 40 men, women, and young people gathered together to considered the subject of service within the church. We began the conference on Friday evening by examining our Great Example for the Servant (John 13). Other sessions included:
- The Servant’s Great Goal (2 Cor. 4:15)
- The Servant’s Great Motivation (2 Cor. 5:9-21)
- The Servant’s Great Encouragement (2 Tim. 2:8-13)
- The Servant’s Great Warning (Eph. 4:25-31)
- The Servant’s Great Picture (2 Tim. 2:1-7)
There were other sessions intended for this conference but they were overtaken by an extended Q & A that lasted for 2 hours on Sunday evening. The Q & A was a time of transparency both for the team and the attendees. I was surprised to hear so many questions regarding suffering, trials, difficulties, and obstacles in life and ministry. I w
as once again reminded that we are in the midst of a spiritual battle as I listened to the trials that our brothers and sisters are enduring. Some are considering quitting. Others are just plain tired. This morning in my journal I wrote:
Perhaps the conference was used to suppress some of this (spiritual apathy and difficulty) in the church. I pray that it is not only suppressed but that it has dealt a severe blow to the enemy and has served to advance the kingdom of God. Indeed I would hope that we came as back up in the spiritual battle–a kind of spiritual reinforcement. Spiritual paratroopers…that’s what we are. We’ve come from one front and have been transferred for a time to another front in the same war. Same war…different battle.
Now, it’s Monday morning. Ben and Chris are diligently working on some of the projects that we’ve been asked to do while we’re here. They’re almost done and the work is really going very well. We’re waiting for the pastor’s to get here from the villages. They will arrive sometime today. We had hoped before lunch but it looks more like they won’t get here until after 2:00 p.m. When they arrive, we’ll welcome them and help them to get set up. After they have something to eat then we’ll start the conference. I plan to begin with an encouragement from 2 Timothy 3…”Brothers, We Must Preach the Word”. The rest of the conference will be centered on how to study, believe, and preach the Bible.
Why the emphasis on studying, believing, and preaching the Word? Simply because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”! We are praying that God will awaken faith in the hearts of the lay-leaders and the pastors. We believe that the most powerful tool that we can provide is to equip these people with the Word of God for the sake of transforming lives for the glory of God!
These men will come from as far away as a few hours and most have no access to training or any kind of equipping for the work of the ministry. We hope to provide that, Lord willing.
Spread of Grace ministries provides funds for the conference including training materials, a stipend to cover the travel expenses of each pastor, lodging (usually in the church), food during the conference, and the travel costs of the team to make it to the conference.